Higuaín faces high expectations with Inter Miami

After this past Saturday’s first win on the road beating Atlanta United FC 2-1, Inter Miami is in 11th position in the Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Eastern Conference. The record of three wins, two draws and seven losses is not so hot.

But now, the team has a chance to turn these stats around.

Gonzalo Higuaín, 32, is now officially Inter Miami’s No. 9. Famously known as Pipa or Pipita, Higuaín arrives from Juventus as Inter Miami’s highest-paid player, earning $7 million a year. The end of this legend’s lengthy European career comes at a crucial point for Inter Miami.

The Argentine striker knows the net. During his time at Real Madrid from 2013 to 2020, he scored 107 goals in 190 league appearances. Then comes his career in Italy, where he scored 119 goals between 2013-2020 in Napoli and Juventus, until his departure from Juve.

It’s frustrating to watch Inter Miami lose. The squad struggles to construct plays or finish. While Rodolfo Pizarro and Lewis Morgan have demonstrated their abilities to score and assist, Inter Miami’s fierce play is yet to show results.

Higuaín brings experience and consistency to a young team with a respectable foundation. Although there’s a long way to go before the team becomes a threat in the East, Miami is on the right track.

“I think there is a good foundation of players here to accomplish [making the team grow],” Pipita said. “Hopefully I can help with that and that the team can gain momentum and get results.”

Momentum and confidence are two things Miami desperately needs.

Miami has a dynamic midfield with Rodolfo Pizarro, Blaise Matuidi and Víctor Ulloa. With Pizarro as Miami’s top attacker and Higuaín in the picture, the team should expect more shots on goal. Higuaín will create a lot more chances on the pitch. Higuaín and Matuidi are also familiar with one another from their time together at Juve.

The Argentine’s arrival to Inter Miami mimics arrivals of other MLS stars such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Villa and even Mauitidi, the only FIFA World Cup Champion in the MLS.

David Beckham, Jorge Más and Marcelo Claure’s vision for Inter Miami have always been to be home to fútbol superstars. Acquiring Gonzalo Higuaín surely is a strong start to achieve the owner group’s vision.

Inter Miami’s next match will be at home against the New York Red Bulls this Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. It seems likely that Higuaín will remain under mandatory quarantine following local government and MLS safety protocol.

Hopefully, No. 9 will debut against Philadelphia Union on Sept. 27.

Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, Monica is working on her broadcast journalism bachelor's degree. She loves to write and is passionate about sports, the art of interviewing and strives to become an on-air sports talent. She produces digital content and is a social media manager.